Bushidō – ‘The Last Samurai’ (2003)

This undoubtedly one of my favorite scenes. In college, I would listen to the soundtrack on repeat and watch the trailer on repeat . I think in some ways, the movie taught me to stand a little taller, be a bit more patient and thoughtful of the things I do, and this idea of having a sense reverence and honor.

But then I come to this place of my ancestors, and I remember. Like these blossoms, we are all dying. To know life in every breath, every cup of tea, every life we take. The way of the warrior…That is Bushido. – Katsumoto, The Last Samurai

71 Aphorisms for Life and Leadership from my Uncle

1. You can Lead without a Title.
2. Knowing what to do and not doing it is the same as not knowing what to do.
3. Give away what you most wish to receive.
4. The antidote to stagnation is innovation.
5. The conversations you are most resisting are the conversations you most need to be having.
6. Leadership is not about position or image; it is about passion and impact.
7. The bigger the dream, the more important the team.
8. Visionaries see the “impossible” as the inevitable.
9. All great thinkers are initially ridiculed and eventually revered.
10. The more you worry about being applauded by others and making money, the less you’ll focus on doing the great work that will generate applause… and make you money as by-product.
11. To double your net worth, double your self-worth because you will never exceed the height of your self-image.
12. The more messes you allow into your life, the more messes will become a normal (and acceptable) part of your life.
13. The secret to genius is not genetics but daily practice married with relentless perseverance.
14. The best leaders lift people up versus tear people down.
15. Your most precious resource is not your time. It is your energy. Manage it well.
16. The fears you run from run to you.
17. The most dangerous place is in your comfort zone.
18. The more you go to your limits, the more your limits will expand.
19. Every moment in front of a customer is a gorgeous opportunity to live your values.
20. Be so good at what you do that no one else in the world can do what you do.
21. You’ll never go wrong in doing what is right.
22. It generally takes about 10 years to become an “overnight sensation”.
23. Never leave the site of a compelling idea without doing something to execute around it.
24. A strong foundation at home sets you up for a strong foundation at work.
25. Never miss a moment to encourage someone with whom you work.
26. Saying “I’ll try” means “I’m not really committed”.
27. The secret of passion is purpose.
28. Do a few things at mastery versus many things at mediocrity.
29. To have the rewards that very few have, do the things that very few people are willing to do.
30. Go where no one’s gone and leave a trail of excellence behind you.
31. Who you are becoming is more important than what you are accumulating.
32. Accept your teammates for what they are and inspire them to become all they can be.
33. The best leaders are the most dedicated learners. Read great books daily. Investing in your self-development is the best investment you will ever make.
34. Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.
35. Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.
36. Measure your success by your inner scorecard versus an outer one.
37. Understand the acute difference between the cost of something and the value of something.
38. Nothing fails like success. Because when you are at the top, it’s so easy to stop doing the very things that brought you there.
39. The best leaders blend courage with compassion.
40. The less you are like others, the less others will like you.
41. Excellence in one area is the beginning of excellence in every area.
42. The real reward for doing your best work is not the money you make but the person you become in the process.
43. Passion + production = performance.
44. The value of our goals lives not in reaching them but instead in what the journey towards those goals reveals and who we become as a result.
45. Stand for something. Or else you’ll fall for anything.
46. Say “thank you” when you’re grateful and “sorry” when you’re wrong.
47. Always make the work today’s work product better than yesterday’s work product.
48. Small daily – seemingly insignificant – improvements and innovations lead to staggering achievements over time.
49. Peak performers replace depletion with inspiration on a daily basis.
50. Take care of your relationships and the sales/money will take care of itself.
51. You can’t be great if you don’t feel great. Make exceptional health your #1 priority.
52. Doing the difficult things that you’ve never done awakens the talents you never knew you had.
53. As we express our natural genius, we elevate the world around us.
54. Your daily schedule reflects your deepest values.
55. People do business with people who make them feel special.
56. All things being equal, the primary competitive advantage of your business will be your ability to grow Leaders Without Titles faster than your industry peers can.
57. Treat people well on your way up and they’ll treat you well on your way down.
58. Success lies in mastering a few fundamentals. It really is simple. Not easy. But simple.
59. The business (and person) who tries to be everything to everyone ends up being nothing to anyone.
60. One of the primary tactics for enduring winning is daily learning.
61. To have everything you want, help as many people as you can possibly find get everything they want.
62. Understand that a problem is only a problem if you choose to view it as a problem (vs. an opportunity).
63. Clarity precedes mastery. Craft clear and precise goals/plans/deliverables. And then block out all else.
64. The best in business spend far more time on learning than in leisure.
65. Lucky is where skill meets persistence.
66. The best Leaders Without Titles use their heads and listen to their hearts.
67. The things that are hardest to do are often the best things to do.
68. Every single person in the world could be a genius at something, if she practiced it daily for at least ten years.
69. Daily exercise is an insurance policy against future illness. The best Leaders Without Titles are the fittest.
70. Education is the beginning of transformation. Dedicate yourself to daily learning via books/audios/seminars and coaching.
71. The quickest way to grow the sales of your business is to grow your people.